Thursday, February 26, 2009

30 miles and counting

Well we have made it into protected seas about a day and a half
earlier than originally planned and should be in P.A. in 5 hours or
so. Hurray! I don't think anyone on the cruise is complaining. In
fact, there's a lot of smiles and more laughing at the lunch table
than there has been in a while. It has been a long transit. 12 days
since our last view of an ice shelf, probably 10 days since our last
view of sea ice. It reinforces how far away we actually were from

I'm downloading pictures that other people have posted on the public
drive, trying to make sure that I have a record of all of the events
and people who were on the cruise. We did take a cruise photo on the
bow yesterday, but I'm trying to capture the day-to-day activities.
I find that it's not hard to remember the people and activities from
the 07 cruise, but who knows what happens after more time. Here's a
list (still no photos) for you and for me of some of the things that
I will remember from this cruise (in no particular order):

The Autosub's harrowing experiences but ultimate triumph
The PIG's southern notch -- caves, currents, and chaotic ice
Interacting with DT's class
Models and CTD observations that are not too different
Penguin and people party on the ice
Fishing boats against the Getz ice shelf
Receiving pictures of Liz's growing belly
When I decided I'd sample the water in insulated gloves instead of
Naps on the partially full beanbag
Intense Scrabble matches
(I'm sure there are more...)

I had a "closing" interview with the videographer documenting the
cruise (Sarah) a few days ago. I spent a fair amount of time with her
and the other photographer on board talking about the ocean -- water
masses, heat transport, mixing, sub-ice circulation, etc. They
always said that I was generous with my time and explained these
concepts well. But I don't necessarily think that I explained them
better than others -- I'm sure there were a lot of unnecessary
detours -- I just have a compulsion for them to understand! Despite
the fact that it's shrouded in the guise of answering their
questions, I wonder if it's even for their benefit. I learn from
trying to explain; it helps me form connections between disparate
ideas. It also makes me feel like I've learned something over the
past 4.5 years in graduate school.

Anyway, in the interview Sarah asked a typical question -- open, more
philosophical than scientific, probably unanswerable -- about why I
want to be a scientist and why I choose to study Antarctica. And,
cognizant that it was a little cheesy, I said it was about learning
something new. The explaining (teaching, formally or informally) that
I get to do, along the way and afterward, is inseparable from the
learning. The blog is an attempt to do this in a different format.
So for those who've said thanks on the blog, it's really about me --
thank you for listening and your comments. If you enjoyed it let me
know why, where it was interesting, where it lagged. If and when
there is a next time, I hope there are even more questions from
shadow crew members, peanut galleries, friends, family, and anonymous

Stay tuned for links to pictures and feel free to continue to comment
on the blog -- they'll all be forwarded to me.


1 comment:

  1. We would enjoy continuing our conversations and sending you the images (scans) of the Cal Current.